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In the 1950s, Shimon Peres made a secret deal with the French to buy a nuclear reactor like theirs. While the Dimona facility was going up, Intelligence reports reached Washington DC that Israel was building an atom bomb. Israel made claims that Dimona was for “peaceful purposes only.” Ben Gurion was summoned to Washington. President Kennedy feared an arms race in the Middle East, and demanded inspections.
In 1961, when inspectors were finally allowed to visit the facility, they were tricked. They were shown a “fake” control room on the ground floor, but were NOT shown the 6 floors beneath it, nor were they even aware of them. This is where the plutonium was being made. Israel was very proud they had FOOLED the Americans. After Kennedy’s assassination, the pressure was off Israel. America’s next president, Lyndon Johnson turned a blind eye to Israeli action.
In 2001, an Israeli Arab Issam Makhoul, broke the taboo in parliament. He accused the Israeli government of “turning a small country into a poisonous nuclear waste bin. The entire world knows that Israel is a vast nuclear, biological… and chemical warehouse that is used as an anchor… for the nuclear arms race in the middle east.” He outraged his colleagues, and was not allowed to finish his speech, but he had made his point.
“Why are the Americans looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? I can tell them where there are weapons of mass destruction… including nuclear weapons. They are in Dimona, in Haifa Bay in the Eilabun mountain… and in the area of Sakneen, Yolfhata. Let them send their inspectors to me… and I will lead them by the hand and show them,” Issam says.